NEW PHILADELPHIA -- Ryan Styer declared his candidacy for Tuscarawas County Prosecutor. Styer, 43, filed his petitions with the Board of Elections seeking his third term as prosecutor.
"I am honored and blessed to have been entrusted with this position. I have a great team that has over-delivered in improving this office and in passionately seeking truth and justice. It is hard to believe all that we have seen and done in seven short years - from the countless cases to the multiple jury trials, to securing several life sentences for murders and child rapists, to modernizing our office with case management software. As prosecutor, there are plenty of opportunities every day to do the right thing and make a difference. It is very rewarding," Styer said.
"The Child Advocacy Center is one of our proudest accomplishments," he said.
In 2010, Styer spearheaded the creation of the Tuscarawas County Child Advocacy Center (CAC), a non-profit corporation that utilizes best practices for interviewing children and facilitates collaboration among the multiple agencies that deal with child abuse victims. Since its opening in 2011, the CAC has served over 300 children with forensic interviews in a team setting and multi-disciplinary case review.
"We have a wonderful, child-friendly facility and a great group of professionals - too numerous to name - including law enforcement, therapists, Children's Services investigators, victim advocates, doctors, and prosecutors, who work together to make a real difference in the life of child victims. Our CAC is leading edge in several ways, including its use telemedicine technology with Akron Children's Hospital, bringing long-distance expertise to our community," he said.
Styer said another key accomplishment of his office has been cutting the amount of felony plea reductions by more than two-thirds.
He said, "One of the first changes we made was totally revamping the approach to charging cases, plea bargaining and trying cases. We take great care in bringing accurate charges that fit the provable facts and not backing off of those charges unnecessarily. It has made a huge difference."
"Over time, we have restructured the office in several ways - and all without adding substantially to the county's general budget," he said.
Styer has added two positions to the Prosecutor's Office that had not previously existed: A victim advocate dedicated to the CAC and a prosecutor's investigator. "Hiring an investigator had been one of my goals for years, but the budget simply did not allow for it until recently. While several county prosecutors across Ohio make invaluable use of in-office investigators, to my knowledge, this is the first time our county has ever had one," he said.
Styer's staff at the prosecutor's office consists of five assistant prosecutors, an investigator, two victim advocates, and four administrative assistants.
Styer said another accomplishment is the implementation, in 2013, of case management software. He said, "Matrix [software] completely modernized and digitized our case management systems. It permits us to be as paperless as we are comfortable being and communicate with law enforcement, victims, and one another faster and more efficiently."
Styer, a practicing attorney for 17 years, also serves as president of the CAC governing board, Legislative Committee member of the Ohio Prosecuting Attorney's Association, committee member of Boy Scout Troop 86 in Dover, and active member and past president of the Tuscarawas County Bar Association.
Styer and his wife, Nicole, reside in New Philadelphia with their three children, Anna, 14, Evan, 13, and Carly, 8.